If this whole head coaching thing doesn’t work out, Matt Patricia might one day have a future as a television executive.
Patricia suggested in February that the Oakland Raiders and head coach Jon Gruden would make “an excellent choice” for Hard Knocks, and the league agreed on Tuesday, picking Gruden and the Raiders to appear on the popular HBO reality series.
Patricia’s suggestion was made partly out of self-preservation. The Lions were one of five teams the NFL could compel to appear on the show that gives viewers an annual behind-the-scenes look at one NFL team’s training camp.
But it always made sense to feature a Raiders team that has Gruden, the former Monday Night Football analyst, as head coach, a high-profile (and sometimes volatile) star in Antonio Brown and a rabid fan base in its last season in Oakland before it moves to Las Vegas in 2020.
“I think Jon Gruden is an excellent choice for that show,” Patricia said at the Lions’ town-hall meeting for season-ticket holders in February. “I think the Oakland Raiders and everything they‘ve got going on right now would be fantastic viewing for everybody to watch.”
Patricia, Lions general manager Bob Quinn and team president Rod Wood all said they preferred not to appear on “Hard Knocks” as they try to rebound from last year’s disappointing 6-10 season.
But the Lions were a candidate for the show because they did not meet any of the three criteria established by the league for exclusion: They didn’t make the playoffs for two straight years, didn’t have a new coach and haven’t been on the show in the last 10 seasons.
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Wood said the Lions would accept their fate if they were picked to appear, and as recently as last week Patricia said he hadn’t been told one way or another whether the Lions still were a candidate for the show.
Along with the Lions and Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants and Washington were eligible to be selected for Hard Knocks, which premieres Aug. 6.
“If you’re a fan of football or great storytelling, Hard Knocks with the Oakland Raiders is going to be must-see television,” Peter Nelson, executive vice president of HBO Sports, said in a news release. “We are so grateful to this storied franchise for opening up its doors and allowing HBO and NFL Films to spend the summer with the Raiders in what promises to be a compelling and engaging training camp.”
Published at Tue, 11 Jun 2019 23:43:21 +0000